Tobago public servants grateful for PSA discount cards

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Elon Berkley, right, receives his Advantage Plus mega discount card from PSA members benefit officer Nashawnm Alfred, at the launch of the card by PSA at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, Lowlands, Tobago. – Photo by David Reid

Tobago’s public servants say they are very grateful to the Public Services Association (PSA) for its decision to reintroduce membership discount cards.

The PSA officially launched the Advantage Plus mega discount card on Wednesday at the association’s headquarters, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

A launch was held simultaneously at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands.

In Tobago, public sector workers beamed with pride after receiving their cards, which they said, are long overdue.

Water and Sewerage Authority employee Bruce Isaac told Newsday, “The discount card is a nice feeling, a nice gesture. It is long overdue, I could tell you that.”

He added the card will allow public servants to have more purchasing power at some 600 merchant locations.

“So we wouldn’t have to dig deep into our pockets as we normally would. The discount is nice. I am very grateful,” he said.

Isaac described Chief Personnel Officer Dr Daryl Dindial’s two per cent wage offer to public servants for the period 2014-2021 as “insulting.”

He said government ministers have enhanced salaries and perks compared to public servants.

“Some of the perks are more than our salaries – that is ridiculous. And for us now to come back on par or some kind of semblance of par, they want to block us now. That two per cent, by the time the tax man pass through, we won’t have anything.”

Isaac added, “They have to go back to the drawing board with their T-square, their set square, everything, and even bring in a draughtsman. They can’t just go with a pencil and paper, they have to do it properly.”

Tobago has approximately 4,000 workers employed with the Tobago House of Assembly.

PSA industrial relations officer, Tobago region, Hayden Duke, described the issuance of the discount card as a historic day for workers.

“I have great pleasure and a sense of pride to be part of an executive team which has not only promised but has in fact delivered.”

Duke said as a goal-oriented individual, he intends to remain true to the office for which he was elected.

“You have been promised much and though there may be bumps and some turbulence at times, we have delivered and we will continue to so do.

“In the midst of this tremendous achievement, the captain and the crew are very much equipped to continue the voyage of Advantage Plus and beyond.”

PSA president Leroy Baptiste, in his address, said the association has joined forces with members of the corporate community to bring relief to the working class.

He claimed the gap between the have and the have-nots in TT is widening.“That is my simple goal: to ensure that the working class in this country rises again.”

Baptiste said the card will allow public servants more purchasing power.

Managing director, LaMP International, Cassandra Patrovani; senior accounting manager MediCard Anthony Cadette; and managing director CNG Solutions Ltd Curtis Glasgow, also spoke.